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Thread: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester.

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    Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester.

    Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts.Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.
    Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.
    “If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”
    After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Vacirca’s clinics decided that they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients.
    “A lot of us are in disbelief that this is happening,” he said. “It’s a choice between seeing these patients and staying in business.”
    Some who have been pushing the federal government to spend less on health care say this is not the right approach.
    “I don’t think there was an intention to disrupt care or move it into a more expensive setting,” said Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, which recently released a plan for cutting $2 trillion in health spending. “If that’s the case, we’re being penny-wise and a pound-foolish with these cuts.”

    Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester.
    Great....Now we see the propensity of our politicians to make things as painful on us as they can, while they go on vacation, and live it up like elites....

    This is just criminal.
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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Great....Now we see the propensity of our politicians to make things as painful on us as they can, while they go on vacation, and live it up like elites....

    This is just criminal.
    The first thing that should have been cut is Congressional salaries. Suddenly there'd be a bipartisan solution.


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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Great....Now we see the propensity of our politicians to make things as painful on us as they can, while they go on vacation, and live it up like elites....

    This is just criminal.
    the only problem is.... there were no cuts to medicaid/medicare due to the sequester. These clinics are using "sequester" as a scapegoat

    my bad. medicaid is exempt from sequester cuts. medicare cuts are limited to 2%.
    Last edited by OscarB63; 04-05-13 at 11:13 AM.
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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Great....Now we see the propensity of our politicians to make things as painful on us as they can, while they go on vacation, and live it up like elites....

    This is just criminal.
    And some repubs are taking a victory lap on the sequester, Boehner being one of them.
    "Being President doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are"

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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by Carleen View Post
    And some repubs are taking a victory lap on the sequester, Boehner being one of them.
    And demo's like Obama, or Reid who could step in and shift something like this elsewhere so that it didn't target grandma's chemo treatments, are using it as a hammer to demonize the repubs, and cow the people...Ain't it great?
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    if these clinics are operating at a level where a 2% cut in medicare payments is going to force them out of business, they have some serious issues.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by Carleen View Post
    And some repubs are taking a victory lap on the sequester, Boehner being one of them.
    It was Obama's plan. Jesus.

    Sperling finally wilted under the pressure of tough questioning to admit that “yes, in fact, the sequestration was President Obama’s plan.”
    Sperling is the President's Chief Economic Advisor.

    White House Admits (Third Time) President Obama Fibbed On Sequester - Forbes
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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarB63 View Post
    if these clinics are operating at a level where a 2% cut in medicare payments is going to force them out of business, they have some serious issues.
    Wrong. There is no (current) law that states that a clinic must provide service/good X at a loss. This (as far as I know) is limitted to ER care. I believe that these clinics are recommending that action - telling their Medacre patients to go to an ER (hospital). Note that grocery stores are not "mandated" to give away free food they are offered SNAP payments instead. Imagine if a grocery store was told to accept an X% loss on all SNAP purchases - would they simply say OK or perhaps simply deny accepting SNAP as form of payment?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Wrong. There is no (current) law that states that a clinic must provide service/good X at a loss. This (as far as I know) is limitted to ER care. I believe that these clinics are recommending that action - telling their Medacre patients to go to an ER (hospital). Note that grocery stores are not "mandated" to give away free food they are offered SNAP payments instead. Imagine if a grocery store was told to accept an X% loss on all SNAP purchases - would they simply say OK or perhaps simply deny accepting SNAP as form of payment?
    or would they simply raise their prices across the board to cover it? unless the vast majority of their patients are on medicare, a 2% cut in medicare payment could be recouped by raising rates by less than 1%.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

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    Re: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequest

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarB63 View Post
    or would they simply raise their prices across the board to cover it? unless the vast majority of their patients are on medicare, a 2% cut in medicare payment could be recouped by raising rates by less than 1%.
    Read the OP supporting article. It stated that they get a 6% "overhead" allowance in excess of the basic drug cost, meaning that their actual loss is then 33% of their overhead (probably well in excess of any "profit" margin), as a result of the 2% reduction in the gross treatment cost since the drug cost is still a fixed amount (94%?). The article also stated that about 1/3 of their patients were Medicare funded. You also assume that they may simply "raise rates" on "others", which is unlikely since they have both competition and limits on what other insurance providers will pay. Perhaps they can survey their patient's incomes and only charge "the rich" more - the classic Obama way to be "fair".
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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